The cowboy and leather communities team up for an underwear auction
Most clubgoers probably look for gay cowboys at the Round-Up Saloon and leathermen at TMC or the Dallas Eagle. But the reality is not a matter of "never the twain shall meet." On Saturday, you can see Stetsons and studded cuffs at the same bar — and for a good cause.
That’s when the Dallas chapter of the Texas Gay Rodeo Association hosts its annual underwear auction at the Dallas Eagle, this year called Cowboys, Jocks and Leather.
This is the 10th year for the fundraiser, according to Dan Nagel, Dallas chapter president of TGRA.
"We were out in L.A. 12 years ago and they did one at a rodeo and raised good money," he says. "We decided to bring it to Texas."
Aside from owing much of their culture to the contributions of cattle — whether between your legs or having their hides turned into clothing — what is the connection between these two communities?
"It’s all drag — cowboy drag, leather drag," jokes Barry Fiddick, a founder of DFW Leatherboys and one of the models at the auction. "What joins them is that both lean toward a very masculine image. And the leather community is one of the more welcoming communities and likes to be affiliated with all aspects of gay culture."
"We mesh well," adds Nagel of the uniting of leather and cowboys. "Mark Frazier, the king of kink, will be there. Mark has a history with TGRA — was president back in the 1990s, before he moved on to the leather community, and he used to ride."
Miss IGRA runner-up Trisha Davis and newly crowned International Mr. Leather Jeffrey Payne will be there to raise the bidding.
"We have thrown in a date with the model a time or two — we may do some of those this weekend depending on the model and crowd," Nagel says.
Fiddick admits that he rarely wears boxers or briefs in his private life.
"In the leather community, you tend to wear underwear only when it’s on the outside," he says — which is pretty much what the auction will be like.
Anywhere from 15 to 25 models, some from out of town, will shake their moneymakers to auction off 30 to 35 pair of underwear, jocks and leatherwear donated by Union Jack, Leather Masters, Eagle Leather by Dan and other sponsors. The goal is to raise $5,000.
"You’ve got mostly hunky guys on stage strutting their stuff — it gets the crowd excited," he says. "Typically someone buys a pair and then crawls into a wooden box surrounded by a white sheet and bright light inside, so you get a nice silhouette when they pull their underwear off."
And that’s something almost all gay men — from cowboys to leatherboys — can get behind.
Dallas Eagle, 2515 Inwood Road. July 4. Pre-event cocktail party with food and giveaways at 7 p.m.; auction begins at 9 p.m.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 3, 2009.